Vanilla Bean Yoghurt Panna Cotta with Poached Lavender Apricots
We love this beautiful and elegant dessert – it feels so light and clean. It is one of those brilliant dishes that you can prepare the day before, and will certainly deliver the wow factor for your guests. The clean tartness of the yoghurt in the panna cotta is just perfect with the lavender poached apricot (but don’t get too over-excited with the lavender as it is easy to end up tasting like soap). The fresh apricot season in summer is sadly quite short, so if you can’t get your hands on them, we are big fans of using poached rhubarb or poached plums (see page 32 of A Love of Eating), especially at Christmas.
|1||vanilla pod, split in half and seeds scraped out|
|For the apricots:|
|4||apricots, halved and stoned|
|2 tbsp||caster sugar|
|1||lemon, peel pared, and juice of ½|
|2 tsp||lavender (dried or fresh)|
You will need: 4 ramekins or pretty bowls for serving.
1. Put the gelatine leaves into a bowl and cover with some cold water. Soak until soft, about 5 minutes.
2. Gently heat the cream and sugar in a pan over a low heat. Add the vanilla seeds and pod to the pan. Bring to a simmer, stirring to help the sugar dissolve. Remove from the heat.
3. Lift the gelatine sheets from the bowl and squeeze out the water, then stir into the hot cream mixture. Once dissolved, strain into a bowl through a sieve and whisk in the yoghurt. Pour into small ramekins or pretty bowls and put into the fridge until set, up to 2 hours.
4. To poach the apricots, put them into a small pan and pour over the white wine. Place over a medium–low heat and bring to just below a simmer. Add the sugar, lemon rind and juice and poach for 10–15 minutes, turning the apricot halves once. You want them to be tender, but still keeping their form and not falling apart. Remove and place in a bowl, keeping the liquid in the pan. Add the lavender to the pan and bubble over a medium heat for 5 minutes to reduce, then strain the liquid over the apricots.
5. Serve the set panna cottas in their ramekins or bowls with the apricot halves on top and a good spoon of the poaching liquid drizzled over.